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Book Clubs and Reading Series

Poetry is Not a Luxury


For 2018 - 2019 Poetry Is Not a Luxury is switching to an event series rather than a monthly book club. Check back for the full schedule.

Led by Elliott batTzedek, MFA,  is an event series focusing on the best contemporary poetry. We discuss poetry as poets do, listening for sound, playing with language, considering joy and sorrow. No quizzes on "hidden meanings" here - reading poetry should be a journey, not a standardized test! And you can expect visit from some of Philly's best poetic voices.

Woke &


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Woke & Well-Read is a new book club starting this fall, facilitated by Jamila Latham. The group meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month, from 7 – 8:30 pm.

Woke & Well-Read will look at life through the eyes of African American authors. We will explore some of the legendary greats as well as contemporary favorites and writers who are up-and-coming. Our space will be open and respectful and also unafraid of the heated passions that arise when confronting issues faced by African American communities. The book club is open to everyone, and rooted in Black culture. We welcome diversity because we know that diverse ideas can birth fresh answers. The group expects that some of the books we read will challenge our understanding of our histories, some will explore popular topics in African American communities, and some will make us laugh heartily.

November 13/14   Buck: A Memoir by M.K Asante (moved one week sooner because of Thanksgiving)

December 18/19  Becoming by Michelle Obama

January 15/16   The Wedding by Dorothy West

February 19/20 Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

March 20 The Untelling by Tayari Jones

April 17  Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

May 15  The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

June 19 We are Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

The Body is Not An Apology Book Club

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The Body Is Not an Apology Book Club

The Body Is Not an Apology Book Club is a place to explore the world of the body in its broader social and communal worlds. Our approach is based in Body Liberation - we celebrate the bodies we have with pride and curiosity and love. We explore topics such as fat liberation, disability, race and racism, and aging.

We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Big Blue Marble Bookstore.

Our March selection is part 2 of Eli Clare’s “Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation.” In this extended chapter Eli looks at the history of the sideshow/freak show, the complications of Crip Politics, and the deep power that comes from loving the body you live in.

Our April selection will be "Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass" by Lindy West

The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Club for Boys

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New at Big Blue Marble - a monthly book club for boys ages 10 - 12!

Run by parents, The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Club for Boys helps young readers expand their horizons, have fun, and read some AWESOME books.

The November selection is Gordan Korman's "The Hypnotists."

The December selection is "Jinx" by Sage Blackwood, on Friday 12/29 @ 3 pm.

To find out more, email coordinator Erin Mooney at erinrosemooney@gmail.com.

Poetry Aloud & Alive

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Poetry Aloud & Alive is the longest-running reading series at Big Blue Marble. Created by The Mad Poets Society, the series is organized by poets Mike Cohen and Dave Worrell. Each month has a featured reader and an open mic.

The series is usually booked each December for the following year. To find out how to read, contact the Mad Poets Society.

Upcoming Featured Poets

August 25: David Kertis
September 22: Hiram Larew
October 27: Nina Schafer
November 17: Rau Greenblatt
December 15: Mike Cohen and Dave Worrell

3rd Fridays with 30 West

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Dungeons & Dragons

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Philadelphia Indie Publisher Thirty West presents a monthly reading series every 3rd Friday @ Big Blue Marble. Come out to see local and area poets, fiction writers, memoirists and more! Live stream for our social media audiences.

Many months have special guests and topics - see our calendar for more information. ThirtyWest books and our features' publications will be available at the register.
BYOB in a relaxed, summer evening in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia!




Big Blue Marble hosts an ongoing table of players ages 11-14 on saturdays from 1 - 3 pm beginning March 16. 2019.


New players, from novice to pro, are welcome.

Philly Poetic Resistance

Philly Poetic Resistance is on haitus until winter. For more information, contact organizer Laurie Pollack at webpoet1@aol.com.

Rad Parents' Book Club

Our Rad Parents' Book Club is currently on hiatus.